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Let's Take the Measurements

Observing icebergs is not only interesting, but necessary. The huge masses of ice create a hazard to ships (remember the "Titanic"?), so they must be identified and reported.

This is particularly important in the North Atlantic Ocean, where Arctic bergs drift south into the shipping lanes between Europe and the major ports of the United States and Canada.

In this area the cold Labrador Current meets the warm Gulf Stream and the temperature differences of up to 20C / 68F produce dense fog. The combination of icebergs, fog, storms, fishing vessels and busy trans-Atlantic shipping lanes makes this area one of the most dangerous for ships.

Navigators therefore need all the help they can get, so the International Ice Patrol uses the following size categories to identify icebergs.

ICEBERG SIZE CLASSIFICATION
   Size
 Growler
 Bergy Bit
 Small
 Medium
 Large
 Very Large
  Height (m)
less than 1
1-4
5-15
16-45
46-75
Over 75
Length (m)
less than 5
5-14
15-60
61-122
123-213
Over 213
  Height (ft.)
less than 3
3-13
14-50
51-150
151-240
Over 240
Length (ft.)
Less than 16
15-46
47-200
201-400
401-670
Over 670
 

MORE...
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Arctic, Icebergs, Glaciers, Ice
Links: Arctic, Icebergs, Glaciers
International Ice Patrol
Maps: Source of North Atlantic Icebergs
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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